Life in Chiang Mai
The slow low season and the spirit of giving
By Heather Allen
Everyone is complaining about the low season and how slow it is.
But, is it really? I am not so sure. We still seem to have hordes of Chinese
tourists standing in the middle of the road. There are still many charitable
events to attend. Granted, May was a little slow and June seems to be
picking up nicely but as far as May usually goes, it looked pretty good to
The Water forum certainly boosted numbers (and traffic) to the city. All
those dignitaries driving around town and roads being closed, seminar goers
and water experts participating in the forum added to the roads, the hotels
and boosted what is normally one of the slowest months of the year. But this
is not the only thing that was not so slow. Social life continued, perhaps
not at the frenetic whirl of the high season but there was still enough
going on that life was not too dull.
June appears to be shaping up rather nicely as well. The gala charity event
held on the 1st was too late to make it into this edition but was quite a
big seller last I heard, with many tickets sold. The funds were raised to
aid a young Burmese refugee who suffered burns over much of his body after
he plunged into the fires to rescue people at the camp in Ban Mae Surin in
Mae Hong Son. This young lad showed incredible bravery at his own personal
cost. I am not sure if the government pledged to pay for his medical bills
or not, but they are not paid and if he is to live something akin to a
normal life, the surgeries must be done.
This event heartened me as it showed that despite the drop in media coverage
of this horrific fire people still care and still want to help. I know that
many Burmese refugee organizations are still taking donations up to the camp
and heartily recommend to everyone to help out. Don’t just drop off your old
clothes, these are not always so helpful as often they are too large or not
practical for the refugees, but donate cash, or food. The cash is used to
buy food and supplies needed by the families there.
There are several other charitable fund raisers including the Royal British
Legion’s summer sun splash (more info at the RBL Chiang Mai website:
http://trblchiangmai.org/). Well known and very generous locals Frank and
Vanita Sethi are celebrating their 8th anniversary with a charity auction on
June 8 at their shop in Kalare Night Bazaar. The funds raised will go
towards school supplies for a remote school in Mae On. Check out the
community happenings calendar for more details. Another worthy cause that
people should line up for is the Red Cross blood drive that will be held at
Central Airport Plaza on June 14 to 3 p.m. Blood is always needed and people
with unusual blood types are encouraged to talk with the lovely Red Cross
ladies about how they can donate when their blood type is urgently needed,
as in a recent case of a young girl who needed surgery. So, give blood! Give
money! But don’t let the slow low season give you an excuse to do nothing at
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